Sabina Salamon
"Vrt/Garden" Juraj Klovic Gallery (Damijan Kracina & Lada Sega),
Rijeka (Croatia), 2002


On the basis of forming dychotomies: elitism versus populism, avantgarde versus kitch one can bring forth the following opposition as well: conceptualism versus ambiance.

In terms of visual art Garden goes over the installation genre in order to exist as an isolated capsule in which the visitor becomes an observer who reacts primarily on sensations.

Ambiance makes an integral impact and does not allow observers to be passive and untouchable; moreover, a visitor cannot take control over the selection of what is going to be heard, seen or smelled.
The power of ambiance derives from its ability to use man’s innate openness of perception. This can be other people’s opinions we usually don’t accept easily and at once, nor do we often understand without pondering it. Moreover we hardly defend ourselves from smells or sounds. Advertising, video or animation using 25 frames per second brakes into the memory without making itself known to us. All this data lies there like raw material running beyond man’s consciousness
to be used later without knowing where it came from.
Garden is not steady in giving us delight, there appears a crack between tame ambience of peaceful green grass (on the slide and video projection) and an anxious unccompanionable man-kangaroo. The hybrid being called Mr. Spag turns the story around for the worse in the direction of uneasy and unfriendly living in the world polluted by economy, culture, art and industry. In this sense Mr. Spag means all things primeval and unspoiled. In this place a fable starts to run about lost paradise and anxiety which has been experienced as a distorted mirror image.
Here ecology appears by reflecting man’s relation to nature. This fact is not harmless at all given that ecologies rise directly from natural law. As a regulative principle in every existing community/society the law shows the structure of the society. Every ecology* is founded upon the difference between nature and culture.
Considering to whom is given the “right to live” we can figure out where man has put himself within the social hierarchy.
The youngest of three ecologies gives the ultimate right to the biosphere, thus to all beings. Luc Ferry comments in his book Le nouvel ordre écologique that the dominant humanism nowadays concedes the right to live to man as the sole and unique being, so that man became the only subject of law and this is the fertile soil for the increasing colonisation of the Earth.

* In literature there are three ecologies considering attitudes towards nature. Here i’m referring to the book Le nouvel ordre écologique by Luc Ferry.
The first and the oldest ecology stands up for man who has to be protected with help from nature. Nature is not considered as subject of the law.
The second one gives rights to beings other than humans with a claim that a man has to make the least possible amount of suffering in the world.
The third one stands up for more than living beings (plants, natural resources). Here they are equally considered as subjects of law.